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February 2013

Sandia National Laboratories has become a pioneer in large-scale passive optical networks, building the largest fiber optical local area network in the world.

The Sandia network pulls together 265 buildings and 13,000 computer network ports and brings high-speed communication to some of the labs’ most remote technical areas for the first time. The network will save an estimated $20 million over five years through energy and other savings and not having to buy replacement equipment. Sandia expects to reduce energy costs by 65 percent once the network is fully operational.

Sandia, which will spend about $15 million on the project, needs superb computing capability for the problems it tackles as part of its support for the mission for NNSA.

Read more.

Steve Gossage, a senior engineer at Sandia National Laboratories

NNSA Blog

Using equipment that expands on technology funded by NNSA's Laboratory Directed Research and Development program, an international team has achieved the first successful measurement of the spin rate of a supermassive black hole. The team included scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In addition, Livermore’s High Energy Focusing Telescope served as the predecessor to NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, which was used to complete the study. The findings are significant because they enhance scientists' understanding of how black holes and galaxies evolve.

Read more here.

About the photo:
Above is an artist’s rendering of a supermassive black hole. Matter flowing into the center forms an accretion disk around it and the black hole’s spin creates an outflowing jet of energetic particles.

NNSA Acting Administrator Neile Miller last week hosted New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam while the governors were in Washington, D.C., to attend the National Governors Association winter meeting.

The engagements provided Miller the opportunity to thank the governors for their active and steadfast support of NNSA’s laboratories and plants in their states. NNSA recognizes the central leadership role the governors play in support of the NNSA mission and appreciates the opportunity to advance the national nuclear security agenda to a broader cross-section of the nation.

Acting Administration Neile Miller with Gov. Martinez (left) and Gov. Haslam

Natalie Layne, Coalfield High, checks out a ultrasonic detector demonstration.

Y-12 recently held its second annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering event, during which some 400 girls in grades 9–12 from area schools were encouraged to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The girls interacted with women working in the engineering field and experienced hands-on activities at various exhibits hosted by Y-12, ORNL, the University of Tennessee and other engineering organizations.

About the photos:
Above, Natalie Layne, Coalfield High sophomore, checks out a ultrasonic detector demonstration at the Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at Y-12's New Hope Center. In ultrasonic testing, short ultrasonic pulse-waves are launched into materials to detect internal flaws or to characterize materials.
Below, University of Tennessee alumni Dr. Jamie Porter, of the Department of Nuclear Engineering, was the keynote speaker at the Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at Y-12's New Hope Center.

University of Tennessee alumni Dr. Jamie Porter was the keynote speaker.

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